Date: August 15, 2016
The Chancery received word Monday, August 15, 2016, that Reverend Monsignor William J. Clausen, STL, died this morning at Presence Cor Mariae Center, Rockford, where he was a resident. Monsignor was born on June 25, 1936, in Freeport, Illinois, to John Thomas and Cecilia Margaret Pettit Clausen.
Monsignor Clausen was ordained to the priesthood on June 2, 1962 by Most Reverend Loras Lane. He attended St. Thomas Catholic High School, Rockford (1950-52), and Sacred Heart, Geneva, Illinois (1953-55). He then attended college at Sacred Heart Seminary in Hales Corners, Wisconsin (1954-55) and St. Mary of the Lake, Mundelein, Illinois (1955-58), and seminary at St. Mary of the Lake, Mundelein (1958-62). Monsignor was first assigned as Parochial Vicar at St. Joseph Parish, Harvard, Illinois (1962-64); St. Mary Parish, Pecatonica,Illinois (1964-65); St. Joseph Parish, Elgin, Illinois (1965-69); St. Anne Parish, Dixon, Illinois(1969-71), St. Patrick Parish, Rochelle, Illinois (1971-1974).
He was Superintendent of St.Vincent/St. Joseph Homes, Freeport, Illinois, while serving as Pastor of St. Catherine Parish, Freeport (1974-1975). Monsignor was then Associate Chancellor for the Diocese of Rockford(1975-76); Parochial Vicar at Holy Angels Parish, Aurora, Illinois (1976-1979); Pastor of St.Charles Borromeo Parish, Hampshire, Illinois (1979-1986); Rector of the Cathedral of St. Peter,Rockford (1986-1990); Parochial Vicar at St. Peter Parish, Geneva, Illinois (1990-1994) while he furthered his studies. He then became Pastor of St. Mary Parish, Maple Park, Illinois (1994-2006). He was named Prelate of Honor (Monsignor) by Pope John Paul II in November, 2000. Monsignor was a member of the Diocesan Board of Consultors (1995-2006) and Vicar Forane of the DeKalb Deanery (1999-2006). He retired 7/1/2006 but continued to assist in parishes.Monsignor Clausen became a Certified Alcohol and Drug Addiction Counselor in 1991 and has assisted many of his brothers with that counseling.
Monsignor is survived by brothers Paul, Robert (Rose), Larry (Jean), sister-in-law Modelle Clausen, 33 nieces and nephews, 74 great nieces and nephews. Monsignor is predeceased by his parents, brother John and his wife Jean, brother Carl, sister Elizabeth Weightman and husband Jerry, sister Catherine Blais and brother-in-law Lewis, sister-in-law Pauline Clausen.
Mass of Christian Burial will be on Monday, August 22, 2016, at 11:00AM at the Cathedral of St. Peter, 1243 N. Church Street, Rockford. Visitation will be from 4PM-7:30PM Sunday, August 21 at the church with scripture at 7:30PM and visitation from 9:30AM-10:45AM at the church prior to the Mass. Interment will be at Calvary Cemetery, Winnebago,Illinois. Arrangements are being made by Fitzgerald Funeral Home, Rockford, Illinois.